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Clin Microbiol Infect. 1997;3(5):549-554.

A simple and reliable method to screen isolates of Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae for the production of TEM- and SHV-derived extended-spectrum beta-lactamases.

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Center for Research in Anti-Infectives and Biotechnology, Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.



To evaluate which of 24 beta-lactams used in susceptibility tests best discriminated between strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae and Escherichia coli that produce extended spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) from strains that produce older, more familiar, plasmid-mediated beta-lactamases such as TEM-1 and SHV-1.


Susceptibility to the 24 beta-lactam agents was determined by agar dilution and disk diffusion methodologies, using 27 strains of K. pneumoniae and E. coli that produced 22 different older plasmid-mediated beta-lactamases and 28 strains that produced 17 different ESBLs.


In general, strains that produced ESBLs were intermediate or resistant to cefpodoxime, whereas those that produced other beta-lactamases were susceptible to this agent. The agar dilution test exhibited 96% sensitivity and 100% specificity in discriminating these two groups of organisms. The disk diffusion test exhibited 100% sensitivity and 96% specificity. All other beta-lactam agents tested were inferior discriminators between the two groups of organisms.


Agar dilution and disk diffusion tests with cefpodoxime can be used to discriminate strains of K. pneumoniae and E. coli that produce ESBLs from those that produce older, plasmid-mediated beta-lactamases.

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